Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home


[Susan notes: This is a line we should be out in the streets marching to: "Only in the eyes of the testing-obsessed is a student with relatively

low skills and no diploma better off than a similar student with a diploma."]

Published in Christian Science Monitor
06/05/2006

To the editor


Regarding the June 1 article, "A local rebellion over who gets a

diploma": Massachusetts Board of Education Chairman James Peyser says

that students who fail the state's MCAS standardized test should not get

high school diplomas because those diplomas will not "ensure lives that

include meaningful opportunities." But in fact, it is the state's own

policy that is denying opportunity.



Only in the eyes of the testing-obsessed is a student with relatively

low skills and no diploma better off than a similar student with a

diploma. Students who show what Mr. Peyser calls "effort and

achievement" where it should count most - in their schoolwork - should

not be denied graduation simply because of a test score. The truth is

that some individuals who do well in school simply do not test well. Why

should their options to demonstrate competence on the job or in a

college classroom be limited because of a politically mandated exam?



High-stakes testing not only hurts individuals, it pressures schools to

become test-prep programs. This narrows and "dumbs down" teaching and

learning, denying many students a high-quality education.



These are the key reasons why so many parents and communities around the

nation are battling against high-stakes testing. Instead, they are

calling for using multiple sources of evidence to identify both student

and school performance.

Monty Neill, Executive Director, FairTest


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.